National Technology Initiative: Social Reflections and Türkiye's Future

The 2000s: The National Technology Initiative and Türkiye’s Future Perspective

Türkiye failed to launch an industrialization drive and ensure production-driven development for a long time. Whereas the country came up with various development models to address that problem at different points in the Republic’s history, the desired success began to be seen in the 2000s thanks to political stability and, by extension, the development of a long-term perspective on R&D, innovation, production, and development. Today, Türkiye has become a country that takes major strides in production and technology. This study analyzes the transformation that the National Technology Initiative has fueled in our country in recent years and the future of that transformation. Primarily, it demonstrates what Türkiye has achieved in R&D, technology and production, with contributions from an overhaul of the regulatory and institutional infrastructures, over the last two decades with the help of concrete indicators. Subsequently, this article establishes how the defense industry’s idiosyncratic governance model inspired the National Technology Initiative’s initial achievements. In this regard, it presents some of the projects that are successfully implemented today thanks to the momentum that the defense industry has generated. The third part of this study, in turn, underscores why it is absolutely necessary for Türkiye, a country with great ideals for the future, to focus on paradigm shifts and disruptive technologies (as it has in the defense industry) and to develop a long-term and systematic perspective as humanity witnesses the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It also explains the various steps, which Türkiye plans to take in the area of innovative and disruptive technologies for this purpose within the framework of its 2023 Industry and Technology Strategy and the existing sector-oriented strategies and roadmaps. Last but not least, pointing out that the country building on its National Technology Initiative with human capital, technology entrepreneurship, R&D and investment incentives, along with public investments, shall determine the outcome, direction and momentum of that venture, this article notes that the National Technology Initiative, which the Turkish people have embraced with a spirit of mobilization, shall be valuable for Türkiye as well as humanity as a whole.

Mehmet Fatih Kacır
DOI: 10.53478/TUBA.978-625-8352-17-7.ch02